The Bella Coola Valley Sustainable Agricultural Society (BCVSAS) is creating a local seed library for the community.
“Keeping local seeds is important for our food system,” said Elizabeth Howard, local food security co-ordinator for BCVSAS.
Howard has lived in the valley for 22 years, and has been a member of the BCVSAS since 2006.
Last year a collection of organic seeds were donated to the society by BC Eco Seed Co-op to help start the library, with more donations expected this year from West Coast Seeds.
Howard explained the way the seed library works is that people will take some seed, and grow plants with the specific purpose of creating more seed to build up the library, and then return those seeds to the library. For example, last year Howard took some orca beans home to grow.
“Now I have a ton of locally grown seeds I’m returning to the library,” she said, noting there are many benefits to building a seed library such as having locally grown seeds adapted to the local climate, as well as increasing local biodiversity of the food supply while saving money.
“And, you know where your food is coming from when you plant your own seeds.”
In the coming days Howard plans to have four seed libraries up and available to the community; two at the post offices, one at the Nuxalk Nation office and another at the library.
Howard is also planning to bring the library to the BCVSAS’s Seedy Saturday: Plant and Seed Swap and Sale event scheduled for April 3.
Seedy Saturday is set to be held at Lobelco Hall parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Strict social distancing protocols will be implemented and masks are mandatory.
Howard said the idea behind Seedy Saturday is “bring what you can, take what you need.”
“It has been going on for a lot of years,” she said, noting the best celery plant she’s ever grown she got at a previous Seedy Saturday.
Residents are encourgaed to check the BCVSAS’s Facebook page for the very latest on event details.